TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Tucson's Raytheon Missile Systems is a major contributor to our nation's security---and our local economy.
The company employs about ten thousand people and pumps about three billion dollars into Arizona's economy.
Senator John McCain focused on Raytheon's value as he talked with company workers Friday.
The Tomahawk missile may be Raytheon's best known product. It strikes targets without endangering a pilot or plane.
Senator John McCain told Raytheon employees their work can help stop ISIS.
“We're gonna need the kind of capabilities that Raytheon has been so good at for so long."
In the War on Terror, destroying ground targets is the most likely use for Raytheon weapons.
Raytheon's really not at liberty to talk about how its weapons are used but the JSOW is an example of the sort of thing that would be used in the War on Terror. JSOW stands for Joint Stand Off Weapon. It's basically a gliding bomb. A plane drops it. The wings swing out and it is guided into a precision landing on what you want to blow up.
But McCain worries budget cuts are starving the military of training and equipment.
I’d like to blame all on the Democrats. In fact, maybe I will anyway, but there are Republicans that are such deficit hawks that they don't understand that the world has changed since 2011, my dear friends and we are overtaxing, over employing, overworking our men and women and the equipment that they use."
Raytheon is also cooperating with Israel on missile defense.
The Iron Dome system intercepts rockets fired into Israel. Raytheon is also working with Israel on a longer range anti missile system known as David's Sling.